Tag Archives: Kos

A shaky Farce Majeure

I got confronted with two news items today, the weirdest part is that the source is the Daily Mail (at http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4717082/Chaos-British-holidaymakers-killer-earthquake.html), which is upsetting to some degree. The news started with the earthquake on Kos last week, a shaking that extended all the way to Crete. Now, as the building laws are on Crete, the news of the earthquake was not one that shook me, the people there know it, yet the strength was stronger than usually dealt with. OK, so far no biggie as news goes. Yet, the initially not highly regarded headline became ‘Thomson REFUSES to refund terrified holidaymaker and his family as they try to cancel their trip to Kos amid earthquake chaos‘, which woke me up. This is not the first time that travel agencies are frowned upon, so I decided to take another look. Justin Curtis who wrote this is pounding on a few items that are actually bigger news than most realise.

Now apart from the news you are about to see, there is a few matters that we need to consider, and I will get to them shortly. First we see “Brits due to go to region say they are being told they cannot have a refund“, I’ll tell you another one, they are still offering these trips online, so I could fly out Saturday at £3275 for a fortnight, by the way a comparable trip with a 5 star hotel booked in the Netherlands is €1048 (£937), which is a totally absurd difference (it included the flight, so ordering the trip in the Netherlands, or book it online and take an additional Euro trip train could save you £2300 (minus the two train tickets), so in light of the prices Thomson is pretty ridiculous. In addition, Thomson proclaims to be an ABTA member (shown on their website), With ABTA we see “Clients’ Options on Cancellation 3B) If they are Principals who cancel previously confirmed Travel Arrangements, inform Agents and direct Clients without delay and offer Clients the choice of: i) alternative Travel Arrangements if available; or ii) a full refund of all monies paid. Such refunds shall be sent to Agents and direct Clients without delay.

Now, this is only one part, in addition we see:

3D) Not make a significant alteration to Travel Arrangements less than 14 days before the departure date of the Travel Arrangements unless it is necessary to do so as a result of Force Majeure.

I think that we can agree that an Earthquake is as Force Majeure as it gets.

There are rules of compensation for part, in case it was not a Force Majeure. So in light of what I see, Thomson might be in a lot more trouble than they think they are.

It was merely a first part, the fact that Thomson kept the lines open for flights this coming Saturday indicates just how insensitive they are to their clients. If the Daily Mail is to be believed, we should also consider their website. When we see: “We’re part of TUI Group – one of the world’s leading travel companies. And all of our holidays are designed to help you Discover Your Smile.” You have to wonder how they will address the issues as given with “Some laid down on the grass after they were denied entry to the airport, with staff limiting the number of people allowed inside due to its small size“, which for safety reasons makes perfect sense, in addition we see “I said I wanted my money back but they told me no and that it was safe. But Kos is not going to be rebuilt in a week and I asked if they could guarantee me the buildings there and my hotel were structurally sound and they couldn’t“, from a torts point of view, Thomson now might have an expensive legal issue evolving at their front door, one that they cannot defer under ABTA, This case could get us to Donoghue v Stevenson. Ms Donoghue claimed compensation for illness, after she consumed a ginger beer containing a decomposed snail, in a public house in Paisley, Scotland. This is the first case of Torts, as Thomson is now quoted to have stated that Kos is Safe, if any mishap comes from the trip, the family could sue as there is news and evidence on the dangers. Kathmiri, the Greek news source gives that dozens of buildings are at present unsafe with dozens more not yet investigated, so Thomson was THIS negligent? The question becomes why Thomson has become this negligent whilst the ABTA code of conduct is pretty clear in section 3 on those who have booked, yet not yet travelled. They could have faced praise and clientele as they bended over backwards by offering and working towards alternative solutions for scores of travellers, now they could get into a lot of hot water. The diverted Ferry service is only a small issue, the reason why it was diverted is the real danger as some quays are actually ripped from the road, making for unsafe conditions. This issue goes beyond the Tsunami that came, yet in all this the complications from electricity, sewage and heat will go up and could potentially create additional hazards for some time, we cannot state how long or how realistic these dangers would be, but they will be there. If essential parts are fixed within a month it would be a small miracle, a given that no one should bank on. For Kos, this could not have happened at a worst time, the summer is the height of their annual tourism income flow. July-September is essential to the people on Kos and Crete; as such Kos might get a big blow in a time when the Greek economy could afford it the least. So back to Torts, we have basically shown a Duty of Care and now we get to Breach of Duty, so as we get to the ‘reasonable man‘ test, would a reasonable man send another person into an earthquake stricken place for a family holiday (or any holiday?), if we consider a reasonable safe environment (especially) for children, Thomson could be seen as the reckless endangering element to the health of these children on that vacation. As such, they might state, the people could have decided not to go. In this a step towards criminal law is that the vacation is a product (or service), so as we see product liability we get “Anyone who is harmed by an unsafe product could sue. They can begin their court case up to three years from the date of the injury. In some cases, they can even sue up to ten years after the product was sold“, it is a thin line, yet with these bulk vacations, the minimum amount of people for a class action should be easily reached, especially when there are torts exploiters (they do exist). Consider that the vacation is a product that is offered, in such we could go towards the ‘Guide to the Consumer Protection Act 1987‘, where we see “In the past those injured had to prove a manufacturer negligent before they could successfully sue for damages. The Consumer Protection Act 1987 removes the need to prove negligence. A customer can already sue a supplier, without proof of negligence, under the sale of goods law. The Act provides the same rights to anyone injured by a defective product, whether or not the product was sold to them“, in addition, there is “Liability under the Act extends to components and raw materials. If a finished product contains a defect in a particular component, both the manufacturer of the finished product and the component manufacturer may be liable“, which is interesting, so any item on the package sold to the tourist might be up for instigating the damage compensation track, so not merely the hotel, any excursion sold to the tourist could start liability at this stage. So how defective is this product?

Well the act gives us “A defective product is defined as one where the safety of the product is not such as persons generally are entitled to expect” and according to the Daily Mail, the people at Thomson proclaimed that Kos was safe, so in light of damaged quays, collapsed buildings with rubble all over the street, when the light goes a little low, spraining an ankle would be the easiest part in the entire equation and the elements to sue have been met, after which the liability track could commence. All because Thomson stated according to the Daily Mail source: “Gary Taylor, left, is due to fly to Kos with wife Katy and daughter Summer, pictured, next week but said he wanted to cancel due to safety fears, only to be told by Thomson he ‘could not have the £2,800 cost refunded due to terms and conditions’ of the deal“, yet this is opposed by ABTA code of conduct section 3b and 3d. And ABTA went one step further by giving within the definition of a Force Majeure as “circumstances where performance and/or prompt performance of the contract is prevented by reasons of unusual and unforeseeable circumstances beyond the control of the Principal, the consequences of which could not have been avoided even if all due care had been exercised“. Such circumstances include a natural disaster, so when were earthquakes and Tsunamis not natural disasters? If the Daily Mail is correct, this Force Majeure is making Thomson look like a Farce Majeure, the one place where booking a holiday might not be the best idea, not just for the prices stated.

Yet in the sidelines we also read “Thomson is offering alternative holidays for those due to travel to Kos or Bodrum should they no longer wish to“, which is one offer that ABTA clearly allows for, yet when we see at the Code of Conduct at 3B.ii “a full refund of all monies paid. Such refunds shall be sent to Agents and direct Clients without delay“, the issue of asking a few more questions to the top of Thomson seems a warranted issue to pursue.

The final part that rocked me is that there is at present no ombudsman for travels, something I actually never considered not existing, when we see that a trip per person could be in advance of £2500 and there are 8,000 UK travellers stranded on Kos, is it not weird that one event, representing £20m is not properly protected? Not merely for the traveller, to some extent to protect the travel agency as well? Is such a voluntary code legally enforceable? Well, that is actually the issue, I am not certain in the UK law settings, in Australia, the case in the Victorian Supreme Court named National Australia Bank Ltd v Rose [2016] VSCA 169 gives us “The Voluntary Banking Code in question stated that NAB had to give Mr Rose “prominent notice of various matters” before taking a guarantee from him. Chief Justice Marilyn Warren and Justice Stephen McLeish of the Victorian Court of Appeal dismissed NAB’s appeal of the original case: “We would respectfully agree with the trial judge’s conclusion that those clauses of the Banking Code had contractual force as terms of the guarantee at issue.”“, I reckon that the UK might find against Thomson travel agency if it gets sued, there is a decent chance that the judges will see the voluntary code of conduct, which seems to be used at times as a marketing presentation on the travellers rights as a mandatory setting regarding the terms of guarantee, or as a Terms of Service, in equal measure, in light of what I have found so far Thomson made a few blunders, several on the same day as their terms of service are seen. I also reckon that Thomson might be the only one visible now, but this issue could hit any agency that has some mention of ABTA in their sales prospectus or website and not offer a decent alternative or a full refund.

 

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Upping the ante!

It seems that the play, that I feared for is now becoming the play that the power players seem to relish. This is no longer about Greece or the Greeks, you see, as I have shown and stated on several occasions, this is about the status quo, and the fallout that will follow will be one that shows the end of many ways of life in Europe.

This is in part about the article ‘Creditors offer Greece six-month bailout reprieve as Tsipras weighs response‘ (at http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/jun/21/greece-crisis-creditors-aim-deal-six-month-rescue-extension), we see the photo with the annotation ‘The Greek prime minister, Alexis Tsipras, arrives at this office in Athens on Saturday. His key demand is that the creditors offer debt relief to Greece‘. Here we see the use of media, as we see another theatrical pose by Alexis Tsipras, we see the caption that is now more an annotation. The illustrative explanation that now makes way for a presentational mark-up.

There is a huge difference and many people are in a place where they can no longer see the difference.

You see, it is no longer about the Greek people, the creditors never cared and the politicians involved for the most did not care either. You give me a clear example where adding debt was for the benefit of the people and I will introduce you to a liar, because the bills must be paid! Whatever forecast the Greeks are offered now, it will be almost certainly be downgraded after a respectable time of misrepresentation and managed bad news, you know after a sudden error or overoptimistic forecast could not be met. That is how I clearly see it!

The quote “extending its bailout by six months and supplying up to €18bn (£12.9bn) in rescue funds” is not about rescue, it is presented as rescue, but it is about paying bills that Greece can no longer pay. It takes care of the bills, the outstanding payments due and less than 6 months of interest payments. In 6 months this starts all over again, whilst the total debt goes up by almost 4%. Added to this is the quote “a breakthrough hinged on a positive response from the Greek prime minister, Alexis Tsipras“, so whilst no concession was made in 6 months, one confirmation, whilst no official plans have been agreed upon will allows the involved players to continue, as they reap the rewards, walk away and leave the next person with an even bigger mess to solve, that is, whilst we see that at present payments are no longer a reality.

You see, in the larger scheme of things, there is a massive upside, the American players involved are not too bright as I see it, they think ‘short term’, with their focus often on personal gain (read: bonus) and personal options (read: their next career step) as they leave the legacy to whomever comes next. It is not the same as the 2004 events, but the consequence will be a lot higher.

As I see it, this act is now enabling UKIP and National Front at the centre stage to illuminate how these short term vultures are totally irresponsible and the rest of the EEC will have to pay in six months’ time (if the reprieve goes through). The run to these two parties is likely to grow almost exponentially. If the UK will call the referendum sooner, the call for breaking with the EU might become overwhelming. The push in France will grow a lot stronger at this point too. That part I had illuminated before, now consider the BBC article ‘France polls: A step closer to power for the National Front?‘ from March 21st. “Polls suggest that the party’s leader Marine Le Pen is likely to reach the second round of presidential elections here in two years’ time. She’s not predicted to win, but even so, it is a striking result for a party that currently controls just 11 towns in France“, that danger, makes the involvement of President Hollande from the quote “Negotiations were continuing on Sunday night, hours ahead of crucial gatherings of Eurozone finance ministers and leaders in Brussels, which Angela Merkel, the German chancellor, François Hollande, the French president, and Tsipras are expected to attend“, his support, also means that if Tsipras breaks (or changes) any given word now, whatever ‘change’ is pushed for in 6 months will hit the French unbalanced powerbase even harder.

You see, the pushers for the status quo are outside of these discussion groups, it is clear that someone from the US (likely Jack Law) has voiced concerns in resolving this, the problem is that the US is (as I see it) bankrupt and those behind it will get paid no matter what, especially as these funds will be used to pay those involved, which means an even stronger movement away from regaining balance. In all this, the Greek population will get to live with the consequences, not the power players behind the screens and likely not the political groups involved. So, as we see “The crisis meeting was convened in an attempt to ease Greece’s debt crisis before a critical €1.6bn payment to the International Monetary Fund falls due next Tuesday“, they are now setting to add 10 times that amount, added to the debt, in addition to the added funds pushed, after we saw the bank run fuelling a quicker setting to the Greek nation’s insolvency.

As we look at the subtitle ‘include up to €18bn in rescue funds, and later debt relief‘, yes it is set against concessions, but how are they enforced or monitored? The later debt relief will no doubt be almost twice the initial payment, which gives Greece up to one more year, but that push for status quo whilst there is no true evidence whatsoever that the economy will go strongly positive makes this a rather risky investment and it is not unrealistic that the Greek population will end up paying for it in several ways.

You see, it does not matter what President Hollande thinks now, he will get what he can and retire somewhere else, the problem will be National Front and Marine Le Pen, who can now (if the Greeks go overboard) make a pointed finger to the EEC, to Greece and to Jean-Claude Juncker stating ‘they have spent your money!‘ What do you think will happen next? In addition, this could start a debate in the UK whether the UK referendum ends up getting pushed forward, still likely in 2016, but now a Q2 or even a Q1 date, which is not that unlikely. In this as the Conservatives are contemplating what to do, UKIP can push its visibility, which gives way to the concern that a minor party can now influence a majority leading party. It is not a given, but it is becoming more and more likely. So as we will soon see economic threats from banks and other players stating ‘beware if you leave the EEC‘, they seem to forget that the voters have had enough, many are living on or below the poverty line and they are extremely unhappy to see Greece walk away yet again, not being held accountable for their irresponsible acts, whilst these voters cannot make ends meet. It drives Marine Le Pen forward and it will have an effect in the UK too.

The short term players do not seem to care, as they are focussed on their little needs, but what comes after is not easily stopped, and this 11th hour half-baked Greek solution will come with a terrible second invoice. How likely is all this?

There is a part that remains an unknown to all involved (including me), the fact on how powerful the status quo players are and on how these issues are brought to light. They will influence the game that is going on, but in all this, one part is in clarity, as I see it, none of the players have the welfare of the Greek people in mind, which I consider the most disturbing part of all.

Now we see the new headline ‘Greek debt crisis: Tsipras concessions welcomed as ‘good basis for progress’‘ (at http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/jun/22/greek-debt-crisis-tsipras-offer-is-welcomed-as-good-basis-for-progress). The question becomes, what exactly are the concessions. The first indicator is “Negotiators are promising debt relief for Greece, which has seen its economy shrink by one quarter since the crisis began, but officials have stressed that a breakthrough will depend on a positive response from the Greek prime minister“, now, I have no issue with debt relief perse, but who gets this write off? In the end, who gets to pay for the loss of debt? You see if Greece does not have to pay it back (which is fine by me), who has to front the money? As long as this is not reflected on the taxation of the people (read the banks pay for these out of their own profits), than it is all fine by me.

The second issue is the one I discussed earlier. “Greece’s international creditors are looking at a deal that would extend the country’s bailout by six months and supply up to €18bn (£12.9bn) in rescue funds“, again, fine by me, but this additional debt is for a large portion about paying debts and interest, whilst the foundation of the debt rises again, how is this ever a solution?

So as we see the quotes: “In Athens itself, more than 7,000 people took to the streets for the second time this week to protest austerity with banners reading “A different Europe with Tsipras” and “You can’t blackmail the people, the country is not for sale”“, the question becomes, why do the Greeks not realise that their own politicians sold Greece from under their feet? The debts had been spend by Greece and arranged by Greek politicians.

And the final quote proves that I was right all along: “Louka Katseli, the chief of the National Bank of Greece, told BBC radio: “To enter into such uncharted waters and take up all the risk both for the Eurozone and for Greece for two or three billion [euros] difference, I think it’s insane.”

You see, they were not playing ball because they knew that the predicament for France and Italy would be almost unbearable, and here we also see, what I would call a clear lie by the National Bank of Greece, Louka Katseli. He states ‘the risk both for the Eurozone and for Greece for two or three billion [euros] difference‘, no Louka! It is not for two or three billion, it will be for the additional thirty billion that Greece needs, the raising of the debt ceiling (again), the €7.2 billion, the €10.9bn, which got classified (and booked) as recapitalisation, and this will not last past December, it could even be harder. You see, Ekathimerini reports (at http://ekathimerini.com/4dcgi/_w_articles_wsite2_1_28/12/2014_545761) states a holiday bookings drop of 50%, which is massive! Now, even I have some debate on how correct those numbers are, so do not just rely on this, yet eturbonews (Global Travel Industry News) reported that Russian tourists could drop by 40%. Now, make sure you notice the word ‘could’, because that makes it a prediction and even though this last article is only a week old, the overall tourism for Greece is a lot larger than just the Russians. A more reliable Dutch source gives us (at http://www.nrcq.nl/2015/06/02/toch-maar-welniet-met-vakantie-naar-kos) gives us that the numbers to Greece are down, but not by a large extend, and so far, the pull to Greek vacations is better than 2013, which would be a good thing for the population. One agent has seen rebooking of Greek vacations, yet these changes were from Kos to Corfu, not to a non-Greek destination, so the Dutch drop is not that large, yet it is there, so this also implies less money into the state coffers than already voiced loudly last week.

I must pause and take notice of facts. Is it just me? I must doubt my own view, when I am the only one having it, that is logical, yet the view of this system of pretending a fake status quo whilst the Greek government is not fixing its flaws and demanding more money is extremely unhealthy. Those enabling all of this seem to remain behind the curtains of the press, which is even more discerning.

So as Louka Katseli states “sanity will prevail”, we should wonder, for who it will prevail, because adding €18bn (£12.9bn) onto a nation that cannot pay its bills is not sanity, especially as the governors of that nation refused to take any action, any move of good faith towards the people who had lend them the previous amounts in the first place. If I would go to the bank tomorrow asking for a loan of 25 million, there would be no way that I would get it, so why did Greece successfully end with close to half a trillion is equally puzzling, especially as the same measurements for me would not hold water, how does it for Greece?

In the end, Greece not acting is the plain reason for Greece possibly facing the ‘Grexit’. I use the word possibly, because as we see in the news today, all the players are all about adding water to the wine, whilst Greece is not drinking at all. So there is no real answer what will happen next. And in the end it is twofold. The first is the deal that needs to be made, the second will be how to tell Europe all this because President Hollande knows very well that Marine Le Pen is waiting to voice his words and let them spike into the heads of frustrated and angered French citizens all over France. over 10% is unemployed and almost 13% lives in poverty, which overall is not that bad compared to other places, in the UK it is now stated to be a third, which is massive (at http://www.theguardian.com/society/2015/may/20/income-poverty-third-uk-population).

This is at the heart of several issues as I have been stating for a long time. Am I correct? Well, most facts came to pass, the fact the Greece has not been exited makes my prediction flawed, yet we must not underestimate the extent of time shifts that have been done just to facilitate these events. That view is only reinforced 10 minutes ago, as new talks start. A theatre routing partially in Greek, partially not, with a mock slap this talk starts. All to feed the press, but the issues are of a deadly serious nature for the Greek population, so as they lighten the mood, we must wonder, where the puppeteers are. So is this a plain Punch and Judy show, or is this a Jeff Dunham spectacle, because the voices behind the screen are those that have been twisted to sound like, this conclusion comes as Christine Lagarde stated 2 days ago that there would be no grace period for Greece, now suddenly there are concessions, yet we are not yet informed on the concessions and certain parties are now willing to open the purse for 6 months of leeway. So if that does happen, no leeway was given (theoretically), it would be classified as a partial agreement, hence the ‘concessions’, which ones? We will know soon enough!

 

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When a joke is too pathetic

This is the first thought that came to mind when I saw the ‘headline’ ‘IMF has ‘criminal responsibility’ for Greek crisis‘, which was in the Guardian Live part. So, is Alexis Tsipras just too stupid to be allowed as a politician? Let’s face it, after 6 months he achieved absolutely nothing, so is my question that far out of bounds? He created decline in diplomatic bonds by accusing everyone, except the ones really responsible, which were the Greeks themselves!

Let’s take a look at some of this, for this I am taking a larger step back, back in time. You see, after the Olympics of 2004, we should have seen an influx and a positive result for Greece, which it did, but only to the smallest extent. Compared to other nations that influx was not as strong as many expected it to be. When we look at the data the OECD (at http://www.oecd.org/) has, we see that the investment in Gross fixed capital formation (GFCF) was up in the year before the Olympics (that makes sense), then collapsed, only to go up steeply in 2006 and 2007, after that it goes down a lot, far below the average, guess what, after it hit a low (-26%) in 2012, suddenly there was a spike in investments, to minus 9.5% in 2013 and plus 2.7 percent in 2014. Yet, investments by whom? If we look at investment on % of GFCF by government we see that they represent 23.3% in 2013 and 20.7% in 2012. All this whilst corporate invested 34.9% in 2012 and 38.3% in 2013, households are in the basement, so the picture does not make sense (to me), when we compare this next to let’s say, the Netherlands, the picture looks even more distorted. Greece spiked its general government investment as % of GFCF far beyond the Netherlands, especially in 2009 and 2013. Greece has nowhere near that funding. Now, we see that it is just ‘% of GFCF’, yet spiking’s of 7% difference makes a lot more sense for the Netherlands than for Greece (the Dutch have dikes, harbours and plenty of assets to worry about). The Greek spending under former PM George A. Papandreou as well as spending by former PM Antonis Samaras, or should I say spending whilst they were in charge? Spending on transport equipment, other buildings and cultivated assets went up consistently, especially since 2012, whilst investment for dwellings went down from 2011 to 8% in 2014. These investment parts cannot be denied to some extent, yet the spiking implies that it is done at a moment’s notice, on the whim of emotion, lacking long term insight and stability. You only need to compare Greece to nations like the Netherlands and Sweden to see that the ‘spikes’ reflect what I would call: lacking vision and insight.

The questions only increase when you consider that Greece’s net trade never comes close to -20, -25.2 is the best they were able to achieve from 2003 onwards, and this is in billions of dollars, so as we see a decade of minus 20 billion or worse, it was -64 billion in 2008, questions should be asked, especially from the Greeks. A nation in trade deficit for ever a decade adds up to questions on WHY they were allowed onto the bond market in 2014, no one clearly asked those questions. In that light I need to add a blog (at http://yanisvaroufakis.eu/2014/05/11/how-the-greek-banks-secured-an-additional-hidden-e41-billion-bailout-from-european-taxpayers/), the article called ‘How the Greek Banks Secured an Additional, Hidden €41 billion Bailout from European taxpayers’, so how come that these matters are not on the front page? So as I see it, these massive indicators are shown that when it comes to ‘criminal responsibility’, Alexis Tsipras should also knock on the doors of previous PM’s and Greek political bigwigs (if they actually have any). For the simple reason that massive austerity would have been needed in 2006 onwards, how much was cut? How was this achieved? You see 2005 was already a clear indication that overhaul of property taxation, tax collection and tax evasion was a clear given, especially when you come up short by THAT much. Yet in over a decade no achievements were made and neither was anything truly done in the last 6 months.

In addition, we see the dangers of the title ‘Athens threatens to miss IMF payment‘ (at http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/jun/16/eurozone-greek-exit-athens-imf-grexit-tsipras), whatever the Eurozone braces for is an unknown to me, considering the large players downplayed the event. The quote ‘threatens to miss IMF payment‘ is also slightly misrepresented. As I see it. As I see it, Greece no longer has that much money at their disposal, I reckon the shift by using the IMF emergency funds was a clear given. There is also a ghostly silence when it comes to the bank run. No clear indication how strong that pull is, or are the banks perhaps already empty? That is not a speculation, it is the question, especially as political parties and banks are debating ‘Grexit’. The problems will only intensify when the bank runs are complete. Actually, I expect that escalations will occur a lot faster when people can no longer withdraw. There is presently no indication when it will happen, but as payments are missed, the dangers of banks no longer handing out cash (emphasis on ‘being able to’) after June 23rd is not out of the question, if the bank run continues, that date might be even before that date. It will be a new low in humanitarian economics, as retirees will no longer receive payments, how will they be able to pay, when the Greek government allowed in March for the dipping into pension funds. Depending on how many Greek bonds these pensions ended up with, when money is not coming, which is extremely realistic, the pension funds themselves will not be able to flood the monthly retirement pay out, which is due in less than 2 weeks, at that point, how will the population react?

I expect to stay away from Greece until that dust cloud settles as it will be a harsh reality for Greeks to watch tourists walk around whilst they can no longer afford to feed themselves. The escalation with refugees all over Greece (Kos being the most visible one) is not helping any. The fact that posters are appearing with texts like “I am an immigrant, I’m here to rape your children” is not helping any. You might think that they are separate issues, but they are not. You see, this fuel of hatred is hitting Greeks every day, the unrest is growing amongst both sides. The entire debt mess is hitting the Greeks, who now see that what is left would be lost to the refugees. We are all about humanitarian aid, but how many will give them your last sandwich? How many will give food to the refugees when it means that your children will not eat? You might think that this is an exaggeration, but after next week, that might not be the case. When the announcement of a default meeting is given, the banks will get overrun, people will take all their money out, they might already be starting that today, when THAT is gone, how exactly will groceries be paid for? All this, because the two players Alexis Tsipras and Yanis Vardoulakis have basically been sitting on their hands for 6 months. It is nice to see the headlines ‘No new reform proposals for Eurogroup‘ and ‘Varoufakis rules out ‘Grexit’, deal possible if Merkel takes part‘. Well, as we are seeing now, it is no longer up to Varoufakis and Tsipras. as they pushed away reforms, accused the IMF and as we see ‘Europe Struggles Toward Solution as Tsipras Rips Into Creditors‘, we have to wonder, the Greeks made these deals, a I see it, the acts of THIS administration is now killing their own options, burning the bridges behind them. At this point, as I see it. Greece can no longer state “Grexit not a possibility“, at this point, we have arrived at the stage that Greece gets notified that Greece will be ejected from the Euro, perhaps even the Eurozone. The latter part is not that likely, but in sight of the Greek acts, no longer an impossibility. Now, only 2 hours ago we see “US urges compromise after Greek PM attacks IMF” (at http://www.theguardian.com/business/live/2015/jun/16/greek-crisis-negotiations-deadlocked-as-time-runs-short-live-updates). Now we see “US Treasury secretary Jack Lew has telephoned Alexis Tsipras to urge him to reach a realistic compromise, urgently. In a statement, the Treasury revealed that Lew told Tsipras that the Greek people, and the global economy, would suffer if Athens can’t reach a deal with creditors

My cold war view (I miss those old days) is: “Jack, buddy boy! Did you miss certain facts? Did you consider that this is exactly what Alexis Tsipras wants all along? He is a communist! This scenario will have a massive impact on America, he is meeting Putin on Friday. Perhaps they will walk through the Hermitage on Saturday, a family outing, special tour and as they turn around the corner he gets his new golden future, if he can push Greece over the edge, massively hurting the US (please do not deny that it will not hurt the US), than he will have a nice future, he might even get the Star of Lenin on May 1st 2016. Instead of meeting with European parties, he is having another meeting with Putin. This guy met with Putin more often than the bulk of the Europeans together

This might look like my shallow view, but consider the past of Syriza, their foundations, is my view so far-fetched? He has done absolutely nothing to propel the debt situation in any positive way. Is all war not based on deception? (Source: Art of War). Look at all the photo’s the papers have, all posing moments and all presentations of the moment (which politicians tend to do), has Alexis Tsipras been anything but a petulant child? As he went on and on in the style of: ‘Just give me my cookie now!‘ (Reference to the 7.2 billion bailout). In 6 months no clear reforms, no clear mention in any direction that could have eased any kind of resolution. The icing on the cake would be if the US would now take on some of these debts too. It would be a total victory for Tsipras, he can tell the Greek population has been dealt with and he’ll be living next to the Kremlin for daily Caviar and Vodka, the new Russian superstar!

This is just my view, it is a view and there is no reliability on my view, but oddly enough, my view matches all the facts we see, so is it less or more likely? Consider yourself, when you are in deep water with your bank, would you not try to get a dialogue and understanding? Would you not plead ‘there is no money now, but as soon as some comes in, we start paying!’ of course, the bank cuts you off, but the bank realises that waiting is better than losing, especially when the client has sincere intentions. So pissing of your bank, accusing them of ‘criminal responsibilities’ and letting them pay for it all, how does that help?

When the fence between you and the tiger is gone, posturing seems pointless, even if it is the only thing left to you. So, are the Greek politicians in charge now the joke that is too pathetic?

From accusations to ‘trying to make up’ as Helena Smith of the Guardian reports, “Over in Athens the government’s spokesman has just released a statement attempting to douse tensions with EU commission president Jean-Claude Juncker“. Is this part of the play, or have the members of Syriza lost direction and focus? This is the question for many, you see, accusations followed by carefully phrased corrections is about emotion, limelight and posturing, as I see it an almost empty gesture to keep a non-conversation going. In here, I mean non-conversation as a means to continue a dialogue that allows for non-actions to continue too. Will this go on for 30 hours until the upcoming near-fatal meeting to be? That will be a question to consider, because tomorrow might be the last chance before certain members meet separately to put Grexit to the vote. That last part is again just my view, but it is a distinct possibility, because the reality of Grexit has now been voiced, and the change from ‘if’ to ‘when’ Grexit commences needs a start date, Germany, France and Italy would want to keep control of that moment, just to make sure that they will not be terminally affected because of it, a consequence that is still an option!

As I see it, the game will change massively for France when Grexit happens, as such, France would want to champion that meeting for valid reasons of cost impact.

 

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